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    • By 1Timothy115 in Devotionals
         11
      Psalms 119:1-8                                         Sep. 5 - Oct. 2, 2019
      1 ALEPH. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
      2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
      3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
      4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.
      5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
      6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.
      7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.
      8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.
      The following verse stood out to me...
      5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
      At first glance it seemed to me this person’s soul is poured out with intense desire to have God’s direction in keeping His Word.
      I made a small wood fire in our backyard for my granddaughter, Julia, since she would be staying overnight with us. My wife and Julia stayed outside at the fire for about half an hour. Then, I found myself alone to watch the fire die out on a particularly lovely evening. So I took my verse from above and began to repeat it for memorization. As I repeated the verse, I tried to contemplate the words and apply them to what I was seeing around me. 
      The moon and stars were out now peering through the scattered clouds above.
      [Genesis 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. Genesis 1:17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, Genesis 1:18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.]
      Thought 1         
      The moon has stayed his course since the day God created him, also the stars, obeying the statutes directed by God from the first day they were created. Can you imagine God’s direction to the Moon and stars, “moon you will have a path through the sky above the earth, stars you will occupy the firmament above the moon and be clearly visible in the cloudless night sky.”
      Then, the trees, grass, even the air we breathe obey the statues God gave them from the beginning. None of these creations have souls, none have hearts, none have intelligence, but they all observe God’s statutes, His instructions for their limited time on earth.
      Thought 2
      What if we were like the moon, stars, trees, grass, or the other creations which have no soul? We would be directed to keep God’s statutes without choosing to keep them. This is not the image of God, there would be no dominion over other creatures, or over the earth. We would not be capable of experiencing the joy and peace of learning the love of God
      Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
      Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
      Thought 3 (October 2, 2019)
      Is the psalmist pleading God to force God’s statutes to become the man’s ways? No, he is speaking of his own failure in keeping God’s statutes and his desire to keep them, very much like Paul in Romans 7:14-25.
      God doesn’t work through force to turn men from their ways that they would desire His statutes or desire God Himself. Men must reject (repent) put aside his own ways and voluntarily seek God and His statutes.

Think Fruit

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In 71 verses, we find fruit/s 82 times in the New Testament. I think that makes understanding “Why?” rather important to Christians, don’t you?

The first usage is an excellent place to start, with John, the Baptist. I suggest reading Matthew 3:1-12, then coming back to concentrate on fruit:

Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: (Matthew 3:8 KJV)

Luke uses the same quote:

Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, (Luke 3:8a KJV)

My favorite scripture that describes these fruits is:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23 KJV)

(Note the fruits begin with ἀγάπη – that beautiful Greek word (one of four translated as “love” in the New Testament) that means the unconditional love between God and man. Christ used it twice in speaking to Peter in John 21:15-17, though Peter didn’t use it to answer Him.)

The first fruit we should display is God’s love.

The second usage of “fruit” may be just as important:

And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. (Matthew 3:10 KJV)

Much later, in Matthew 21:18-22, we see Jesus’ response to a fruitless tree. A bit earlier than that, Jesus used John’s words in describing what happens to trees without good fruit:

Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. (Matthew 7:17-19 KJV)

Back to Galatians to see descriptions of evil, corrupt fruit:

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21 KJV)

There are God-promised consequences for specific deviations from God-given commandments. To believe these have changed, I would have to be shown a scripture reference. As I continue to read and study the Bible, I do not find where these scriptures are shown to be in error. Feel free to point out to me my error.

The last reference in the New Testament is one I’ve used often:

And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (Revelation 22:1-2 KJV)

That scripture takes us back to Genesis 2:9, the tree planted in His garden:

And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. (Genesis 2:9 KJV)

Please note that the tree of life was not included in the “Do not eat”:

And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. (Genesis 2:16-17 KJV)

The tree of life fruit is freely given. Please, take some time to become a knowledgeable fruit inspector:

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. (Matthew 7:20 KJV)

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I know, as IFB's we tend to think of fruit almost purely as souls won to Jesus Christ, and to be sure, that IS a fruit, but today, not just among us, but many, fruit is not often enough seen as fruit within one's life and walk-our personal, spiritual growth before the Lord. Yet, a majority of verses concerning fruit are exactly that: growth. Fruits meet, or appropriate, for repentance, a life that shows our repentance, which begins in the heart, and is followed by the walk. The fruit, (mind you, not 'fruits"), of the Spirit-one fruit, numerous aspects of that fruit. And I believe that these aspects are gained, one at a time, by the believer, the more we grow and turn ourselves to the Lord in all aspects of life. Some are harder than others, like, meekness and longsuffering. But they are ALL parts of that one fruit, which shows our growth in the Lord.

 

  This is why Christians show little change in their lives-not taught about the fruit, about the walk. In fact, it is the fruit that many believers are taught to be legalism, the change in the life, both within and without. We are told that we may know others by their fruit, and yes, that takes, BUM-bum-BUUUUM! Judging! And how can we do that, except that the change extends to the outward, despite the naysayers that tell others that they shouldn't be judged by their tattoos and purple mohawks and miniskirts and tank-tops and multiple piercings, that only God can judge because He sees what is in the inside, yet I say, the Lord tells us we may know them by their fruits, and their fruits inside will be seen reflected on the outside.

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You reminded me of something, Bro. Mike.

The calling of God is one calling, as well.

There is no "call to preach", it is a command, etc.

So it is with fruit of the Spirit.

One fruit, yields much...
You don't have some fruits, but not others.
You have fruit, that remains.

Yes, offspring is fruit.

Good OBservation, Brother.

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